Chief Flynn says St. Patrick's Day fights blown out of proportion
WTMJ News Team
Charles Benson reportsPhoto: Video by tmj4.com
Click under Related Videos to see the raw press conference by Milwaukee Police Chief Flynn joined Mayor Tom Barrett and representatives of some of the Water Street business owners
MILWAUKEE- Milwaukee Police Chief Flynn joined Mayor Tom Barrett and representatives of some of the Water Street business owners in downtown Milwaukee to discuss St. Patrick's Day fights at the corner of N. Edison St. and W. Juneau Ave
"We promised a safe event, we delivered a safe event," said Chief Flynn. "Controlling fear becomes tougher when non-representative tapes of disorderly incidents are played endlessly as though they were representative of what happened in a largely uneventful night."
Dozens of people took part in a brawl early Sunday morning that forced a number of Water Street bars to close early.
You Tube video shows Milwaukee Police officers on horseback closing in on several people fighting in the street near Bar Louie. Two or three people were arrested.
Officers say a number of Water Street bars voluntarily closed at 12:30 Sunday morning, about an hour and a half before bar time.
Flynn said the whole event is blown out of proportion because there were about 25,000 people on Water Street Saturday night and there weren't any major incidents. Flynn noted that 60,000 people were in downtown Milwaukee on St. Patrick's Day and there were nine disorderly conduct arrests and six fights reported in the entire downtown area that night.
"99.9 percent of them (people in downtown Milwaukee Saturday night) had fun," said Mayor Barrett. "It's important that we get the message across that if you are in downtown Milwaukee, you are going to have fun."
Mayor Barrett said police responded quickly to the fights and wanted to encourage people to come back down to Milwaukee -- as he said it was a safe downtown.